Cuban heavyweight Odlanier "La Sombra" Solis is currently ranked # 2 WBC, and faces WBC # 1 rated, Ray "The Rainman" Austin in an elimination bout to determine the mandatory challenger of the current champion of the WBC, Vitali Klitschko. The fight takes place on Friday December 17 at the American Airlines Arena in Miami, Florida. The fight is promoted by Don King Productions and ARENA.
In Miami, Solis was reunited with his former amateur coach Luiz Diaz Pedro Benitez, who led the Cuban national team for 15 years. After getting to Cuba, Diaz quickly made a name in the professional ranks by working with middleweight world champion Jean Pascal and rising middleweight David Lemieux. Together, Solis and Diaz are looking to surprise the world, first against Austin and then by beating Vitali Klitschko.
"When the WBC officially announced that the winner of my fight against Austin would face Vitali in less than 100 days, I knew that I could fulfill my dream and be the first heavyweight world champion from Cuba. I've wanted to challenge Klitschko since I became professional in 2007. For so long they have been avoiding me. Now Vitali has no room for escape. He tried to dodge his obligations again but failed. I'll be the man to end the reign of Klitschko," Solis said.
Solis had a total of 100 rounds of sparring with qualified fighters. Promoter Ahmet Öner brought in German heavyweight Erkan Teper and contender "Fast" Fres Oquendo.